We are always interested to receive news of marriages so please email Dawn Pilkington (Association Director) information to include in this section with a high resolution picture.
Abi Vega and her wife Courtney had a wonderful wedding celebration in Cambridge on 23rd July 2022. Her two sisters and St Cat's friends enjoyed a memorable day
Tabitha and her husband Simon got married at Holy Trinity Church Bramley on Saturday 23rd July 2022. It was a magical day and many of her St Cat's friends were able to join them to celebrate
Dushy Clarke and I got married on 4th June 2022 at my parents’ house in Haslemere. My 5 beautiful bridesmaids were all St Cats alumnae: Rosanna Martin (MoH), Stephanie Wright, Row Trevellyan, Hattie Fieldman and Maisie Borrows.
Sophie Jefferies got married on September 12th 2020 in Maryland, USA. (COVID Bride). It was just myself and my husband and a witness, as our original big wedding ceremony and reception had to be cancelled because of Heath concerns/State laws regarding large gatherings. Good news is that we did manage to have the full wedding ceremony and reception on 21st May 2022 with the whole family.
I was delighted my St Cat's friends were able to join me in France for my wedding on 14th May 2022. It was a perfect day.
I married Kieran Edge in Sheffield on the 13th of November 2021. Several alumna of the Class of 2012 joined us - Emma Hobkinson; Hannah Pilkington; Stephanie Smith, Jennifer Shaw; Bea Stafford-Smith; and Louise Taylor.
Hannah Hillcox married Thomas Laubscher on 30th October 2021. A very close group of friends from her St Cats days were all in attendance. Her sister, Ellie Hillcox (2016) was Maid of Honour.
Natasha and her husband Ivo at their wedding in September 2021
We are sad to announce the passing of these former staff and students. If you have news to pass on in this regard please email Dawn Pilkington (Association Director).
Kate Rupal (nee Heyes)(1991) 8th September 2022
Kate very sadly died, just short of her 50th birthday, following a sixteen month illness of a rare form of cancer. After five years at St. Catherine's, Kate left for sixth form at Cranleigh School. She took a gap year teaching in Zimbabwe and then read Single Honour Politics at Bristol University. Kate's life passion was her spiritual search and a deep concern for children's early formative years. She was a Rudolph Steiner kindergarten teacher and also qualified to administer a number of health therapies. Kate is survived by her husband, Sanjeve, her parents Bob and Jenny and her brother Simon and his family.”
Andy Thompson (Associate Staff & Battlefields Guide (2009-2022) 7th May 2022
Andy started his career as a History teacher and taught for a short time in Zambia. He became Head of History at Ashcombe School and it is there that he met his wife Sue who was also a teacher. He became deputy head at Weydon School in Farnham before becoming Headmaster of Oakwood School, Horley 1989-2007. Oakwood was newly formed in 1989 following the merger of Court Lodge Comprehensive and Horley Comprehensive School.
In 1981 he followed his great uncle’s journey to Ypres and this started his passion for the Great Wars. He took his first group of students to the battlefields in 1982 and following the success of these trips for pupils and parents Andy formed Eye Witness Tours in 1998. He ran the tours alongside his role as Headmaster and then full time after his retirement in 2007. In total he was a tour guide for 40 years.
He was an associate member of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides and took extra exams during Covid lockdown to become a world expert on WW1 & WW2 – in his own words ‘you are never too old to learn and expand your knowledge’. He was the favoured guide for The War Poets Association and Chairman of the Surrey Branch of The Western Front Association.
His first guided tour for St Cat’s was in 2009 and since then he has been the guide for numerous girls on their Battlefields trips visiting the Somme and Ypres. He has also organised and led nine trips for members of The Association – the last one being the D Day beaches in Normandy just a few days before he died.
He was widely read on all aspects of conflict and used his extensive knowledge, numerous anecdotes and passion of the subject to educate, bring the soldiers stories alive and entertain in equal measure.
It was during a sponsored walk along the Thames to raise funds to support the community in Zambia he taught in, and in particular the girl he is sponsoring through school, that he suffered a fatal heart attack. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Sue and their family.
Robert Gillman (Former Staff) 5th April 2022
Robert had a difficult childhood; he was an only child, and his mother was widowed when Robert was 5 years old. Robert then had broncho-pneumonia and was in hospital for a month. His Mum worked hard to support him but was quite ill herself for long periods, so Robert brought himself up and developed his independent streak and challenge of authority.
He left school at 15 and completed a 5-year electronics apprenticeship at Murphy Radio. However, throughout this time he was receiving piano lessons from and aunt who recognised he had talent. The decision to dedicate his future to music came when he was required to work on missile technology, and he could not bring himself to be part of something that destroyed lives. He managed to buy a few professional lessons, passed Grade 8 with Distinction and win a scholarship to the Royal College of Music.Robert was also studying at the Royal College of Organists, gaining a Fellowship and choirmaster certification. His professor for organ was William Lloyd-Webber who one day ruefully shook is head and said that one of his sons had written a pop musical about Joseph that will never catch on!
Robert met Vivien in 1968 and were married in St Albans in 1970 and so began the next phase of his life supporting a wife and family, while giving his all to the music that drove him and pondering the feeling that he should offer himself for ordination in the Church of England. To achieve this, he worked part-time at a small electronics workshop, mending tv’s and radios, spent time studying Hebrew and Biblical texts, helping to look after his two sons while Vivien worked nights as a nurse, and working as Organist and Choir master at Church. Not to mention always available to accompany other musicians when needed. He was constantly in demand as he had an innate ability to anticipate what the soloist needed and to cover any glitches. He twice applied for ordination and was supported by Bishop Robert Runcie but the panel suggested he should give his talents to the Church through music. One day Bishop Runcie called to say there was a position as Organist and Master of The song at St Mary Church in Newark on Trent.
Some extremely happy times and challenging years followed. Robert built the choir back up and helped with numerous fundraisers as the church and organ needed major refurbishment.The growing needs of a family of 5 drove Robert to leave Newark and to take posts as Director of Music in prestigious boarding schools – firstly Stamford High School, then Queenswood in Potters Bar, then St Catherine’s School in Bramley. They were rewarding years, using his music and education skills to nurture talent in others while also holding various posts as organist and choirmaster.
We have been greatly comforted by the many messages describing a man of great humour, kindness, humility, expertise, inspiration, supportiveness and of course incredible talent.These characteristics also shone through in his life as a family man. Having been an only child, often totally alone, he treasured all the more his wife, three children and eight grandchildren. We are a very close family, and although the last few years have been more difficult, we remain devoted to each other and this is no small part to the love and affection Robert poured into us individually and as a unit over many years.
Over the past several years Parkinson’s disease robbed him of much of his physical abilities and yet in the face of this he refused to give in. he remained determined, funny, caring and more concerned for those around him than for himself.
Elisabeth Reed (nee Newnham)(1950) 4th February 2022
Elisabeth was born in 1931 in Colombo when her father Hubert Newnham was a member of the Indian Civil Service and rose to become Mayor of Colombo. In 1934 Mum’s sister Audrey was born. In 1942, with the possibility of invasion by the Japanese forces Granny, Mum and Audrey were evacuated by sea to S. Africa. Her father stayed on to help with the defence of Ceylon.
The three refugees spent a happy 4 years in South Africa pursuing an outdoor life. In 1946, her father retired and sailed to South Africa to collect his family for onward sea passage to England. They came to live in Godalming. Mum and Audrey attended St Catherine’s School in Bramley, as had her mother, aunt, and subsequently also my sisters Suzy, Nicky and step-sister Bridget. St Catherines’s School was to play an important and enduring role in her life. In later years she would take an active role as an ‘old girl’ and was also a governor for many years. The esteem in which she was held by the school is very evident. After leaving St Catherines she went to train as a Radiographer. She qualified in 1952 and then worked at St Thomas’ Hospital. In 1954 she met Spencer Reed who was training in tropical medicine. They fell in love and were married in 1955. Shortly after, Dad accepted a job as Leprosy Control Officer for the Indonesian government in Bali.
Whilst in Bali, Mum gave birth to three children. Myself, Suzy and Nicky. Mum loved her time in Bali. She loved the country, the people, the culture and the spirituality. We left Bali in 1962 and after a very short stay in England moved to Thailand where my father worked as regional Leprosy Control Officer for the WHO.
Mum did not enjoy cooking or housework. She was always at the cutting edge of labour saving devices. She leapt at the chance of cooking dishes with ‘boil in the bag’ technology! During the period 1965-1997 Mum threw herself into a huge variety of activities. She was a receptionist at the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. She became an advanced driving instructor. She was an active member of ROSPA. She was a Governor of St Catherine’s school from 1968 for 36 years. In 1983 she founded and ran the Guildford Cancer support network. She was able to pursue her interest in spirituality. She also painted commissioned portraits of pets. And she also immersed herself into researching our family ancestry in extraordinary detail. In all these pursuits she exhibited her ability, enthusiasm, kindness, generosity, organisational skills and humour
After years of ill health, our Dad died in 1992. From 1989 to 1994 mum was delighted to have become a grandmother. She was a loving grandmother and very proud of all her grandchildren. In 2020, her eldest grandchild Danielle gave birth to Xander making Mum a great grandmother. Over the years she had always kept in touch with her childhood friend Brian who was also my Godfather. Brian had also lost his wife Rosemary, and during this time the two of them became close. Not long after Mum and Brian were married at St Catherine’s School chapel. Mum thus gained two step-children, David and Bridget and step grandchildren. She became extremely close to her step-family. In her older age, Mum was afflicted by deafness, but with her typical foresight she had taught herself to lip read when she first realised her hearing was going.
Mum started to lose her memory some 10 years ago. Despite being immensely frustrated by this she bore it with a smile and her usual stoicism and humour. In the spring of 2019 Mum suffered a stroke and was admitted to hospital. She was then moved to a care home in Woking. She retained her loving and humorous nature and was a firm favourite with the staff whom she would hug regularly. She died peacefully on February 4th. Suzy, Nicky and I will be eternally grateful to Brian for the happiness he brought to the final chapters of her life and for cherishing and caring for her to the very end. What a life she has led! A life of adventure: a life of kindness to others; a life of talent; a life of enthusiasm; a life of laughter; a life of loving. What an example for us all. Looking through the many kind letters of condolence, these were the most frequently used adjectives: Beautiful, loving, kind, caring, genuine, enthusiastic, vibrant, resilient, wise, compassionate, wonderful, special, and warm. She was a devoted wife, a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and we loved her so very much.
Anne Hunter (nee Tottenham)(1943) 3rd March 2022
Penelope Dalton (nee Barltrop) (1958) 3rd December 2021
Elaine Maggs (nee Harris) (1963) 27th November 2021
Elaine’s mother was a Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS) volunteer and Elaine, who was born on July 26, 1945, started helping her when she was still at school. In spite of successfully completing a three-year course in photography at Guildford Art School, she was not interested in paid work once her son arrived in 1975.She moved to Haslemere with her husband and two young children in 1985. She started to deliver meals on wheels for the WRVS in Haslemere, and soon became the organiser for Haslemere, and then Waverley, responsible for recruiting volunteers and issuing the weekly rotas.Her warm personality meant volunteers seldom left. One volunteer said: "I would have given up Meals on Wheels years ago if it hadn’t been for Elaine."Her responsibilities were extended to include preparation of meals, book-keeping and reimbursement of drivers’ expenses, and she was employed by Waverley on a part-time basis.
The Haslemere Blind Club had existed for some time, but in 1984 the lady who ran it was getting too old to continue.Elaine stepped in as chairman. She ran the club with the same approach she applied to all her voluntary activities - it should be a fun experience for both the volunteers and those who attended.In 1998 she attended a meeting of the great and good of Haslemere to discuss the formation of a support group for stroke victims and their carers. She ran it for ten years until she thought it needed a fresh mind as chairman. Her kindness, optimism and cheerful nature attracted a good team, and the club survived with her providing support as a volunteer.
The WRVS also supplied teams to provide food and tea to Surrey council staff dealing with emergencies.Elaine trained WRVS members in this role and headed up the team when emergencies arose. This role was expanded when the WRVS contracted to supply hot food and drink to the fire service for extended fires - teams were present for six days for the Swinley Forest fire. Elaine loved the work and the firemen loved her; she was most disappointed when the contract was terminated. From time to time, she was chosen to represent the WRVS, most noticeably in presenting a petition at 10 Downing Street and in the armistice remembrance parade.
Elaine was also involved with the day centres run under the auspices of Age Concern, as it was then known, firstly, as chairman of the Farnham centre for three years, and then for longer in Haslemere, initially under the wonderful chairman, Edith Kinghorn, where she was responsible for catering. She remained there until 2010, when she resigned at the same time as her husband, who had been the treasurer since 1999.
Her achievements were recognised by service awards from Waverley, Surrey County Council and Haslemere. She was awarded an MBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list. Elaine died peacefully and pain free in her sleep at the Royal Surrey County Hospital on November 27, 2021. She was surrounded by many family and close friends in her final days. She was a very modest lady and, writing this as her husband of 55 years, I am sure many of those who knew her will be unaware of the full extent of her activities. She enjoyed life and wanted to do her bit to help others less fortunate than her. I can honestly say I don’t know anyone who did not love her. She will be sorely missed.
Ann Anderson (nee Penney) (1953) November 2021
Ann Stagg (Former Staff) 9th September 2021
She taught Geography at St Catherine’s from 1986-2001 and was very proud to be House Mistress of Musgrave for much of that time.
Jacqueline Salkeld (nee Polglase) (1981) 29th May 2021
Jacqueline Salkeld, died on 29 May 2021 after a long and arduous illness. She was a loveable, multifaceted person who charmed every room with her gregariousness, and, sometimes, outrageousness! She was a fiercely loyal friend, warm-hearted and compassionate. She was fiery, forthright and stubborn. Jacqueline was a talented singer and oboist, indeed, she later played in the Cranleigh School orchestra throughout her time in the Sixth Form. She was a daily listener of Magic FM, and greatly enjoyed embarrassing her daughters on the school run by putting her car roof down and blasting out ABBA!
She was active, a sailor in her younger days and until recently, a tennis player. She loved long walks and family pub lunches in the Surrey hills. She was a caring neighbour, a volunteer for the local elderly community.
Jacqueline never took herself too seriously and even the most reserved characters couldn’t help but open up to her. She was silly, hilarious, and had a vulgar sense of humour. When reduced to tears of laughter her typical exclamation was, ‘You have to laugh, otherwise you’ll cry!’.
Most importantly, Jacqueline was a doting daughter, wife and mother, vivacious and so full of life until the very end. Jacqueline will be missed so greatly - she really was one of a kind. She raised two resilient, compassionate daughters, Isabella and Lulu, and enjoyed a loving marriage of 33 years with Neville. We will continue to cherish the many hilarious and happy memories we have of her.
Elizabeth Sharples (nee Williams) (1949) March 2021
Elizabeth died at Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital from acute pulmonary oedema and other significant issues. Thankfully her passing was peaceful.
Brian Hallewell (Former Staff) 24th February 2021
Brian taught English at St Catherine's from 2003 - 2004
Dame Ruth Railton (Former Staff) 23rd February 2021
Daughter of Revd David Railton, who first conceived the idea of a memorial to an unknown soldier as a focus for all whose loved ones had been killed in WW1 and either had no known grave or were buried abroad. David was vicar of Shalford between 1931 and 1935 before moving to Liverpool.
She taught music and singing at St Catherine’s as a student in the Summer and Christmas terms of 1937 before proceeding to the Royal Academy of Music. In September 1939 she was a teacher at Fleet House Girls’ School, Felixstowe. In the mid-1940s she returned to St Catherine’s as a music teacher until 1949, when she left to concentrate on being director of the National Youth Orchestra, which she had founded in 1948. The 1947 school magazine reports her taking a choir with Miss Turley to Oxford Town Hall to sing in Bach’s B minor Mass.
In ‘Memories of School days, 1903-1948’ Dorothy Tutin recalled : We had the good fortune, because my Aunt knew her, of having Ruth Railton (later Dame) to teach us choral singing - we sang in the Albert Hall – Ripieno part of Bach's St Matthew Passion - it was unforgettable. Kathleen Ferrier was singing and the Bach Choir was conducted by Reginald Jacques. My love of Bach and music deepened greatly from that experience.
In 1962 Ruth married (as his second wife) Cecil Harmsworth King (20 February 1901 – 17 April 1987) who was Chairman of Daily Mirror Newspapers, Sunday Pictorial Newspapers and the International Publishing Corporation (1963–68), and a director at the Bank of England (1965–68).
Ula Oakley attended her funeral and recalled Miss Railton came to teach at St Catherine's in the mid-40s and she was like a breath of fresh air in the Music Department. She taught the Senior Singing Class and coached the Chapel Choir and a very few girls were privileged to have private piano and harmony lessons with her. Probably the greatest experience for pupils was being part of the Ripieno Choir (consisting of about a dozen choirs from girls' schools in South East England all of which Ruth Railton trained) in the Bach Choir's annual rendering of the "St Matthew Passion" in the Royal Albert Hall under the baton of Reginald Jacques with soloists such as Kathleen Ferrier. Many girls owe a debt of gratitude to Miss Railton. She went on to found the National Youth Orchestra which continues to go from strength to strength, was her life's work and for which she received her O.B.E. [actually D.B.E.] I was present at Miss Railton's Memorial Service, which was a wonderful tribute to a very special lady.
Yvonne Boyce (nee Harcourt) (1938) 21st February 2021
Beloved wife of the late Ken Boyce, died peacefully at home aged 98. She had fond memories of her time as a boarder at the school.
Sheila Fowler-Watt (Former Governor 1993-2010) 2nd February 2021
Sheila Fowler-Watt was originally a member of the Combined Council of Cranleigh and St Catherine's. When the joint charger was broken she chose St Catherine's as she was a proud alumna of her own school Roedean and was dedicated to the girls' only tradition. She served on the Prep School, Pastoral Committees and was Governor responsible for Child Protection and also had a keen interest in all matters boarding.She was one of of the Governors who interviews Alice Phillips and was a tremendous support in the early years of her tenure.
Sheila and her husband Donald together ran Brambletye Prep. School in Sussex for 28 years until their retirement and were a wonderful force within Prep Schools'world. Sheila thrived on her engagement both on our board and that of Roedean. She is much missed and was a rock to so many.
Gillian Stancer (nee Hemmings) (1957) January 2021
Gillian started at St Catherine's in 1950 and enjoyed her time there very much. Despite taking precautions, sadly Gill passed away from COVID in January 2021. She outlived two husbands and had four wonderful daughters, many grandchildren and a great granddaughter, and felt blessed and lucky all her life. She enjoyed annual trips to Wimbledon and was introduced to the Queen at her garden party where Gill was representing Leonard Cheshire, one of the many charities for which she worked tirelessly for many years. She travelled extensively, visited many parts of the world and enriched the lives of all who knew her.
Elizabeth Killick (nee Drew) (1940) 12th January 2021
Eileen Symonds (nee Buxton) (1931) 10th January 2021
Eileen Buxton was born in 1913, in the City of London where her parents ran a pub in Fetter Lane. Only three years old she and her brother were evacuated to a boarding school in the West Country to avoid the bombs. Her family later moved to Muswell Hill where she attended ballet lessons and showed promise. At 11 she was sent to St Catherine’s School where she excelled in sport, playing in the top teams for netball, cricket, hockey and lacrosse. She loved her school days and has many happy memories of her time spent at St Catherine's School.
On leaving school, Eileen spent time at home with her mother and later became a House Model for a couturier in Conduit Street, London. Being tall and very slim she made an ideal model. Clothes always played an important role in her life and she right up until the end she was always smartly dresses and fashionable. Eileen met her husband ‘Bim’ through a school friend who was his sister and thy married in 1938 settling in Thames Ditton. Angela was born in 1939 and Caroline in 1941. Bim was in Egypt and Italy during WWII and not long after his return the family moved to Worthing where Laura was born in 1947. All three girls trained in ballet and all forms of The Arts and the family moved to Wimbledon in 1956 to give the girls closer connection with London and they all had successful careers in the theatre.
Eileen was photographed by David Bailey for a feature in the Guardian Newspaper "This is what 100 looks like" in 2016.
Eileen had 5 different homes in Wimbledon over the years and she loved to play bridge and visiting the theatre for ballets and musicals. She has nine grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter.
Eileen was always very strong and resolute, she enjoyed a whiskey and a cigarette from time to time, and drove a car until she was 98. A remarkable woman.
Janet Cartright (1954) 23rd January 2021
Janet joined St Catherine’s in 1946 and was in Midleton House. She lived in ‘Shealing’ on Station Road, a distinctive house with many stained-glass windows. Her uncle had been a stained-glass artisan and after he died, her father replaced many of the windows with examples of his work.
After leaving school she qualified as a Chartered Accountant in Guildford and then went on to work in London for United Dominions Trust Ltd which was taken over by TSB, where she continued to work until she finally retired in 1993.
After a bout of illness in 2007 she wrote a note to the village, published in the Parish Magazine saying “Words seem too banal to thank all those who supported me during my recent illness. My social worker says she has never come across such support from a community before”………..but she was a ‘giver’ too, making hundreds of cakes, organising Bridge drives, and was often to be seen around the village arranging flowers at the memorial cross or helping at the Church Sunday lunches, or other village events. John Bundock wrote that “She has made an invaluable contribution to the life of the church as well as playing a part in the life of the wider community.”
Janet was a very loyal St Cats alumna and regularly attended events and concerts at School. When artist in residence, Sophie Allsopp, was commissioned to produce a series of paintings on the theme of ‘Community’, Janet was one of the chosen subjects. The piece showed her at home, with her school photos, a picture of her beloved dog, Charlie, and some of her uncle’s stained glass.
We last visited her on her 85th Birthday in November, and again on St Catherine’s Day to deliver our traditional cattern cakes. She will be missed by many within the St Catherine’s community.
Mary Erdozain (nee King) (1962) 18th October 2020
Emma Allin (nee Couchman) (1971) 24th June 2020
Emma had a terrible last few weeks, very heavily sedated but eventually passed away fairly peacefully with both her sons and husband with her, at home. She was diagnosed with cancer, mesothelioma, caused by asbestos, 2.5 years ago, knowing it was terminal with an possible prognosis of three years. She picked it up when they were living and working near a tin mine in Mount Newman, north Western Australia. She received compensation from the company and the government.
Emma started at St Cats in Kindergarten and left at the end of U5 in 1969. She kept in touch with several schoolfriends including Liz Knight and Joanna Kibble. She was always mad about horses, keeping several and being very involved with various equestrian societies throughout her life; among other things, she sang in two choirs and was a very good seamstress! We will miss her hugely.
Barbara Silver (Former Staff) 15th May 2020
She taught at St Catherine’s from 1947 – 1981 total of 34 years. It is one of the longest periods of service in the school’s history. She died a few months before her 100th birthday.
Miss Silver was a teacher in both the Prep and Senior School. She was a housemistress in Bingley (one of the former boarding houses), Musgrave and Ashcombe and in 1960 was instrumental in establishing Symes, the boarding house then for girls at 11 years old, a ‘home from home’.
Biology was her favourite subject and she loved all forms of nature.
Jane Griffith-Williams (nee Ardagh) (1950) 12th April 2020
Stefanie Rees (2000) 5th April 2020
Stef sadly died of lung cancer on 5th April this year. She had recovered from ovarian cancer 9 years previously but this second unrelated cancer was too much, especially when all treatment was stopped so that the hospital could deal with covid cases.
Stef worked for children's charities all her working life. First, with Save the Children and then the last nine years with BBC Children in Need channelling Pudsey Bear! She was a caring, empathetic, enthusiastic young woman and is so much missed by her family, friends and colleagues.
In her time at St Catherine's (Stoner), Stef made some good friends and she was given many different opportunities - she continued to be creative, painting and loving music and singing to the end.
Julia Barry (nee Jones) (1973) 7th January 2020
Julia died after a short illness in January. Four of her school friends Lela Daniel (nee Andersen), Elizabeth Bailey (nee Davie), Margaret Padfield (nee Davie) and Barbara Robson (nee Lever) were all at her Thanksgiving Service in Henley-on-Thames.
Janet Oswald (née Leigh) (1951) 27th December 2019
Janet was a boarder at St Catherine’s, Bramley, where she thrived, becoming Head Girl and Lacrosse Captain. She sang in the ripieno choir for Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the Albert Hall and took part in a group visit to West Germany soon after the end of World War II, making long-lasting friendships with three German girls, one of whom shared a birth date with her.After school Janet trained as a Froebel teacher and in 1956 obtained a post in the junior school of Victoria College, Maadi, Cairo where she met her husband Philip, a fellow teacher. They married in August 1957 and moved to Cyprus to teach at the English School, Nicosia. After having three children they moved to Cambridge in 1976 and Janet returned to her first love of teaching small boys at the Perse Prep.Janet and Philip loved travelling and camping sleeping on lilos in a tent until their 80’s. Janet wrote detailed diaries about all their trips copiously illustrated with photos.After retiring in 1993 Janet took an A-level in Art and then embarked on an Open University B.A. honours degree, followed by an M.A. in History. Next she was accepted for a Ph.D., her subject being ‘Girls of the Spinning House – a Social Study of Young Cambridge Streetwalkers, 1823–1894’. Janet submitted her thesis on 30 September 2008 and subsequently had a paper published in the journal Urban History in August 2012. She also volunteered to become a Samaritan.
Pat Ellenden (Former Staff) 20th February 2020
Pat graduated in Maths from Reading University in 1959 and went on to Bristol University for her Dip.Ed. After 2 posts teaching in Stanmore and Didcot, she went to London Bible College to study for a BD with a view to teaching RE also. It was there that she met and married David who was on the same course. For 6 years (interrupted by the births of her first two children) she taught in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, coaching in Maths and RE children who were in as long stay patients. On moving to Farnham in 1975, she had a variety of supply and temporary jobs and also produced a third child before settling into a part-time job at her local High School. She joined the staff of St Catherine's in 1983 and retired in 1998, going back briefly soon after for a maternity cover. She enjoyed early years of retirement, having holidays in Israel, South Africa and China among less exotic places, but at the end of 2013 she had a bleed on the brain from which she was initially not expected to recover. She did in fact recover to a remarkable extent but was never quite the same again. Soon after her 80th birthday in 2017, her health took a turn for the worse and finally pulmonary embolisms (blood clots on the lungs) were diagnosed. ,Blood thinners were prescribed but after a year or so led to another less severe bleed on the brain. She rallied to enjoy a family holiday to celebrate (prematurely) her Golden Wedding in the Easter holidays last year, and the actual anniversary in July with a tea party. Another family holiday was booked in February this year and although her health had been noticably declining since Christmas, the children insisted that she went as David also had health issues and needed a holiday. On the Thursday evening as her son and daughter-in-law were getting her ready for bed she collapsed and went deeply unconscious and within an hour passed away.
Katharine Lippiett (nee Langston-Jones) (1934) 8th November 2019
She died peacefully at the age of 103. Widow of Vernon and mother to Peter and John.
Margaret Wilson 21st September 2019 Former Head of Science and Merriman House Mistress 1965 – 1985
Melissa Van Der Klugt (2003) 30th August 2019
Melissa was a passionate freelance journalist and broadcaster who covered south Asia and Africa for The Times, The Sunday Times and the BBC. As a foreign correspondent she lived in Dehli before moving to Kenya with her partner. At the time of her death her journalistic output was prolific, her writing could be found in the literary and travel sections of newspapers as well as in the features and foreign pages and her voice was heard on radio, podcasts and at literary festivals. When commissioned to write an article about what she had learnt from the obituaries of inspiring women she wrote” Be brave in everything. A life well lived means being brave.” She was very sadly killed in a traffic accident in London.
Marjorie Hannaford (Former Staff) 2nd July 2019
Marjorie was a PE teacher at St Catherine's from 1977-1985. Later in her career she became Head Teacher of Heswall Preparatory School. She died peacefully on 2nd July 2019 aged 86 years. Marjorie will be sadly missed by all her loving family and friends.
Carol Ayton (nee Hooper) (1954) 26th July 2019
Her husband Antony writes” We were married at St Andrews Church, Ferring, West Sussex in August 1959, had four children - 2 boys and 2 girls in that order - all happily married they have produced 11 grandchildren - all present in the attached photograph taken last summer. Carol was very proud to have gone to St Catherine’s and kept up with several of her old school friends - in particular Judy Willis, Brenda Croysdill and Mary Brown. After school Carol went to Brighton Tech where she studied Pharmacy and became a member of the pharmaceutical society (MPS) She was a practicing pharmacist until our first child was born, when she gave up paid work and concentrated on being a mother. After the last of the children left home she set up her own pharmacy in the adjoining village which was very successful. When we decided to retire to a smaller house in another village she sold the pharmacy to Lloyds. She was a wonderful mother and her family was the most important thing in her life. Our village church on the day of her funeral was absolutely packed. She was given a wonderful send off!
Margaret MacGregor (nee Holt) (1958) 26th June 2019
Born in Dublin where her father ran Dunlop Ireland, and moving to England in the 1940s, Margaret left St. Catherine’s and went on to qualify as an SRN at St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, where she spent a several years nursing, together with some of her St.Catherine’s friends – Wendy, Janey, Anne and Diane. Following this she held a number of positions including at 10 Downing Street as one of the “garden room girls” dealing with the prime minister’s correspondence as well as manning the office for the BBC World Service in the Aldwych with responsibility for a small African country. She recalled being lucky if she received one letter or telegram a week from a listener.
Margaret met her husband, Neil, a curate, at a wedding in Bath in 1969 and they married in October that year. Thereafter she embarked on the journey of a clergy wife, living on Exmoor, in Somerset and latterly in North Shropshire. On Neil’s retirement in 2001, they moved to Ludlow in South Shropshire, where she continued a busy life volunteering in various organisations and throwing herself into the community. She always loved it when her old friend from St. Catherine’s, Wendy Faulkner (nee Henshaw) and husband Derek visited for the Ludlow races. Margaret is survived by Neil, two children, Paddy and Lucy, and four grandchildren.
Irene Harris 10th May 2019
Former PE Teacher 1955-1961 Irene was a pupil at Guildford High School in the 1940s. Having trained at the Chelsea College of Physical Education in Eastbourne she taught at Petersfield before coming to St Catherine’s for six years. In 1961 she took up a post at the Henrietta Barnett Girls’ Grammar School in North London, becoming Head of the P.E. Department and, later, Deputy Headmistress. She retired in 1990 and moved back to Guildford, becoming an active member of the local branch of the Conservative Party and an enthusiastic participant with friends on cruises to many parts of Europe. She was disabled by a stroke in 2015, and died peacefully on 10th May at Farnham Mill Nursing Home, aged 89. She never married.
Gillian Wright (nee Hancock) (1948) 23rd March 2019
Margaret Parry (nee Umpleby) (1956) 6th March 2019
Joy Jardine (1970) March 2019
Joan Davison (nee Higham) (1938) 22nd February 2019
Jane Haviland (nee Irving) (1948) 8th February 2019
Shirley Gadd - Former Housemistress of Bronte 1980-1986 - 17th August 2018
Shirley was born in Stoke Newington London to Frederick a naval officer and Evelyn Gadd. Shirley had a younger brother Brian who sadly passed away ten years ago. On the outbreak of the Second World War she was evacuated along with her mother to Haslemere. She attended St.Bartholomews Infant School,Haslemere Junior School followed by Farnham Girl’s Grammer School. From here Shirley went to teacher training college in Liverpool.Shirley was very involved with the local Brownies and Guides in Haslemere. Shirley taught History in Chichester followed by six years teaching in Hong Kong. On returning she joined the staff at St Catherine’s Bramley ,and greatly enjoyed her time there. This was followed by several years at Godalming Sixth Form College. After retiring Shirley led a very busy life. She obtained a MA in History through the open university, went on many coach holidays, visited friends and family all over the country, and there was great demand for her needlework skills. Shirley enjoyed her 80th Birthday in May and will be greatly missed by her family and many friends.
Patricia James (nee Tannock) (1953) - August 2018
Patricia enjoyed her time at school and was Merriman House Captain. She went on to Roehampton and gained a NFF Dip Ed before becoming a teacher. She married her husband in 1957 and had two daughters and a son. She was also a Justice for the Peace for 27 years - Deputy Chairman and Chairman of Family Panel. Her other passion in life was dogs and she bred, shown and judged Bull Mastiffs for about 25 years. Patricia sadly died following a battle with cancer and will be missed by her family and friends.
Sarah Palmer (2005) - July 2018
Sarah joined the school with her twin sister Kathryn, her older sister Victoria is also an alumnae. During her time at school she was a keen lacrosse player, Russell Baker House Games Captain and Careers Mentor. She went to Brighton and did a degree in Physiotherapy. Sarah sadly died from a malignant tumour.
Jean (Pippy) McCall (nee Rellie) (1938) - 11th June 2018
Jean was an all-rounder at school, she won a number of academic prizes over the years, performed in many of the school plays and played on the netball and lacrosse teams. She was Red House Captain. In 1941 she married Dennis McCall and had three children, two boys and a girl. Her daughter, Sheena, also attended St Catherine’s and was a noted artist and breeder of deerhounds. Sheena sadly died in 2010. Grandmother of Davina McCall, resident of Bramley until relatively recently she will be sadly missed by family and friends.
Joanna Redfern (1952) - 3rd May 2018
Joanna (Jo) Redfern passed away unexpectedly at her home in New Malden aged 83. She arrived at St. Catherine’s in 1946, and left in Summer 1952. Jo was academically very successful, particularly in Maths and Music, passing her Grade VIII Piano exam shortly before her 15th birthday and obtaining Advanced Level in Pure Maths in her final year. She was a prefect in Midleton House. Faced with a choice of Maths or Music when leaving St Catherine’s, Jo chose to study for a Chartered Accountant qualification. She won a national prize in passing the intermediate exam, but shortly afterwards gave up her career aspirations in favour of marriage and family life, marrying Brian Ward in 1957. Jo and Brian had six children, and subsequently Jo had eight grandchildren, and a first great grandchild was born not long before she died. She was for many years the focal point of her large and much-loved family and there were many large family gatherings at her house in New Malden. When the children were older she reactivated her interest in music, teaching herself the clarinet, flute and finally the bassoon, with many musical get togethers with like-minded musician friends. Walking with friends was also a favourite activity, and many of the country’s long distance walking paths were ‘conquered’ by the group.
As well as this Jo found the time to keep in touch with many of her old St Catherine’s school friends, and frequently travelled around the South East to meet up with them. Jo will be deeply missed by her family and her many friends.
Ula Oakley (nee Brett) (1948) - 2nd May 2018
Ula joined the school 1942 and whilst at school she won a number of prizes -senior music prize, senior piano prize, Alice Fortune Memorial Scholarship and the Pearce Memorial Piano Prize. On leaving school she became a member of the OGA committee from 1955-1967, married David in 1958 and moved to Elstead. She remained a staunch supporter of the school throughout her life attending numerous events and reunions. Her love of music stayed with her, both she and her husband were founder members of the Association Choir and sang with the choir for a number of years. In 2005 Ula wrote “Life has revolved around family - sons and grandsons - (Oakleys only produce boys!), the church, in many ways (22 years full-time organist here in Eistead, now both here and in neighbouring parishes) and music, as a piano teacher, choirmaster and for 40 years directing my own chamber group of singers, and giving several concerts a year in aid of charities. We've lived in Burford Lodge all our married life (over 47 years: Eistead can be recommended!” She was in hospital for three weeks with a chest infection which turned to pneumonia. She will be sadly missed by her family and the St Catherine’s community.
Zena Skinner (1944) - 6th March 2018
Zena, a television chef and prolific author & editor of numerous cookery books, has died at the age of 91. During World War Two she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service and then went on to study at the London School of Domestic Science. She went on to travel extensively throughout Jamaica and East Africa giving cookery demonstrations, whilst continuing to write books In 1962 Zena joined BBC television to co-present a programme called Town and Around alongside other presenters such as Michael Aspel and Richard Baker. She was a more homely rival to Fanny Craddock, producing good, English family fare in a kindly and sensible manner. Zena worked regularly on numerous BBC programmes for many years, including Ask Zena Skinner, South East, Look East, South Today, Indoors Outdoors and Bon Appétit. She also founded the Keech Hospice Care in Luton and raised £100,000 for the charity over 26 years. She regularly wrote in the Radio Times, and published several recipe books, including 100 More Town & Around Recipes, Zena Skinner's Cookbook, Recipes for Every Occasion, Take Stock and was an author of the Reader's Digest publication The Cookery Year. In 1969 she appeared on Desert Island Discs and her favourite song as Climb Every Mountain by Peggy Wood. Zena was an absolute stalwart of the reunions for her decade. Intellectually very quick, modest to a fault about her television and publishing career, but always interested to hear what the girls were studying today in what we now call Food and Nutrition. She was never aloof and always ready to chat and reminisce.
Margaret Bowen (nee Chalklin) (1943) - 10th January 2018
She was born on 19th May 1925 and attended St Catherine’s from 1936-43. She loved playing lacrosse at school and was Head Girl. On leaving St Catherine’s she went to LSE gaining a degree in Sociology before becoming a social worker. She married Collin Bowen in 1949 and lived in Salisbury for 60 years from 1957. She suffered a major stroke on 8th January and died on 10th January 2018. She loved playing lacrosse - as I did many years later - so we talked about that a lot. She was a lovely mum and we miss her a lot. Teresa, Eleanor and David Bowen
Gaie Cousins (nee Higgins) 1964 - 9th July 2017
Gaie had a very varied career. After leaving St Catherine’s she went to finishing school at Winkfield Place before studying at the Guildford School of Acting for a drama teaching degree. Gaie first went into the Army and taught the Army Educational Corps in Germany before becoming PA to a scientist. She then moved into the careers sector for 11 years and moved to Menorca to help start a scuba diving school. She lived in Menorca now for 33 years.
Ann Thompson (1948) - 10th November 2017
Ann was a piano teacher and lived in Australia. She had many fond memories of her friends, the school and the concerts she performed.
Jane Hancock (nee Warren) (1948) – November 2017
Jenny Bristow (nee Newman) (1953) – 7th October 2017
Jenny was such a lovely girl, rosy cheeks, good at sports, ended up as a domestic science teacher, but her dream was to live in NZ, which she achieved. She married Sam who came with a ready-made family, and Jenny was in her element, and was very obviously loved by them all. At the end Sam was with her the whole time, holding her hand so she knew she was never alone. Dementia is so cruel.
Shirley Byrd (nee McClare) (1953) – July 2017
Carol Milano (nee Blad) (1953) – 2017 sister of Elizabeth Stone (1945) and sadly missed.
Jenny Benoy (nee Blad) (1944) – 2017 sister of Elizabeth Stone (1945) and sadly missed.
Patricia Whales - 23rd December 2017 Former Prep School Teacher, Keller & Symes Housemistress 1981-1995
It feels wrong to have ended one year and started another without our mum/granny, Patricia Whales but she is now at peace and will forever be alive in the hearts and thoughts of her children and grandchildren as well as their spouses. 2018 will see two more of her great-grandchildren born and two more of her grandchildren married. Her lineage continues! She loved her time at St Catherine’s as housemistress of Symes as well as teaching in the primary school and formed some long lasting friendships while she was there. These endured until the end and we know these friends will miss her too.
Diane Burt - 11th October 2017 - Former Physics Technician 1976 - 2001
We were married in our local church St Martin's in Blackheath in June 1959 and where our three children were baptised. I met Diane while I was in the Royal Air Force and she was an Experimental Officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment and I was posted there also in a technical experimental role. For the first time in my life Diane gave me somewhere to belong and a clear purpose. During our marriage and her life she consistently taught me and our children how to behave, how to achieve our own objectives, how to be fulfilled and to help others. I think she tried to do that while working as a Physics Laboratory assistant at St Catherine's school where she clearly enjoyed her work and made some good friends.
Lottie Fullerton (2013) – 10th August 2017
Member of Musgrave House and a Keller boarder, Lottie died in a tragic trekking accident in Nepal. We After GCSE at St. Catherine's, Lottie spent her sixth form at Canford and was reading medicine at Jesus College, Oxford. In her short life, she had made a significant impact on friends and student peers and had hopes of a medicine career ahead of her with great success in her studies already under her belt. Lottie was an exemplary student, bright, fun, warm, humble in success and invariably polite
Joy Attwell (nee Weller) (1936) - April 2017
Joy was born in Ewhurst and lived all her life in Cranleigh. She was a potter and a member of the Cranleigh Arts and Crafts Society, as well as being involved in Cranleigh Cricket Club. She had her 100 birthday in January with her family including two grandchildren and five great- grandchildren. Right up until the end she was “as fit as a fiddle and as sharp as a pin.”
Mr Alan Vint - 27th April 2017. Former staff who was part of grounds and maintenance from 1997 – 2011.
Leigh Markopoulos (1986) – 24th February 2017
A prominent San Francisco art critic, curator and teacher, Leigh sadly died from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in Los Angeles. She was the chairwoman of the graduate program in curatorial practice at California College of the Arts and a regular contributor to the online journal Art Practical and other publications. Ms. Markopoulos was director of the Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco from 2005 to 2007 and had organized exhibitions in London for the Serpentine Gallery and the Hayward Gallery. At the College of the Arts, Ms. Markopoulos was adjunct professor in the graduate program beginning in 2003 and appointed chair of her program in 2008. She was promoted to associate professor in 2010. In 2016 the book “Great Expectations: Prospects for the Future of Curatorial Education” was published, with Ms. Markopoulos as editor. College of the Arts President Stephen Beal called Ms. Markopoulos “a brilliant scholar, writer, and curator who was dearly loved by her students and colleagues.” He credited her with “helping to launch the careers of many young curators.”
Elizabeth Dixon – 20th February 2017. Former Music Teacher from 1972-1996. Elizabeth died peacefully in her sleep.
Sue Wood (nee Berry) (1976) – 12th November 2016
My wonderful sister, Sue, died on 12th November, very peacefully, with her husband Mike, son Adam, and immediate family around her bed. Sue thrived at St Catherine's: becoming Merriman House Captain, playing school and house lacrosse, but more importantly making a large gang of friends who she remained very close to. Several visited Sue in hospital which cheered her immensely in her final days; laughter echoed down the corridors! Sue was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and that was the start of the long and often tough series of battles that she fought over the next seven years. Sue was, as ever, resilient – she never complained, had such a zest for life, and made sure that time with family, friends and travel and fun always took priority.
Philippa Berry (1978)
Joan Audry Lever (nee Armytage) (1943) – 19th July 2016
From 1999 -2005 I was privileged to live next door to Joan and Oliver Lever, an active couple who had retired to Malvern from Nottingham. When I first met them they were well into their seventies. I soon learnt that Joan and I shared the same school albeit in different eras. She regularly kept up with St Catherine’s through reunions. Therefore I would like to share this with you. At the time Joan still enjoyed her weekly tennis and bell ringing. She was a keen gardener and a gifted watercolourist . Her painting of Malvern Priory is still a bestselling card in local shops. She was determined to work the computer to write her biography and to keep in touch by email with her extensive circle of friends and family around the world. She gave our young family time and little wisdoms. When we outgrew our house in Malvern (four boys under 6) and moved away, we saw the Levers less regularly, but kept in touch; her recycled Christmas cards were a delightful Christmas feature. Last year Joan gave a lovely party for her 90th, she was surrounded at home by friends and family. Still very astute, though she was gradually becoming more frail and deaf. She died in July of this year. I think Joan was inspiring on how to live your life to the full, I will miss my friend. Oliver predeceased her in 2009 and she is survived by her four daughters, Rachel, Catherine, Nicola and Madeline and their families.
Feya Recordon nee Durksz (1986)
Jennifer Lewin (nee Freeston) (1973) – November 2016 with inoperable lung cancer. She was 61 and lived in Frome, Wiltshire. She married one of the few boys who attended the Prep School back in the Dark Ages! She had a wonderful career as a Speech & Language therapist, eventually being in charge of all the NHS services for Somerset Wiltshire and surrounding area and managing an enormous staff and budget.
Denise Househam (nee Leicester) (1942) – 1st November 2016
Denise died peacefully in hospital after a short illness. She retained a great interest in the school until the very end, and had very fond memories of her time there. She will be sadly missed by her many family and friends, and will live on through her 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 14 great- grandchildren.
Jill Lye (nee Melrose) (1975) – 7th May 2016
Jill was a very talented sports woman at school and in her final years was on the 1st team for Netball and Lacrosse as well as being Head Girl and Vice-Captain of Austen. On graduating from Exeter she worked in HR for Cadbury Schweppes plc for a number of years before setting up her own successful recruitment consultancy. On moving back to Bramley to look after her Mum, Jean, she put her amazing organising skills to use as a very active member of the village. Always a loyal supporter of the School she joined the Association Committee on which she served for many years. She will be sadly missed.
Dr Libby Wilson (nee Bell Nicoll) (1944) – 3rd April 2016
Former Head Girl Libby died aged 89 following a short illness. She was a family planning doctor and right-to-die campaigner. She founded one of the first family planning services for single women in the UK and later campaigned on the Assisted Suicide Bill. In her 2004 autobiographical account of her family planning work, Sex on the Rates, she said she could not remember a time when she did not want to be a doctor and, inspired by her father, followed the path into medicine training at King’s College Hospital London. She married Dr Graham Wilson and they raised 6 children together. Whilst living in Sheffield Libby’s interest in family planning began as she became aware of the difficulties in obtaining contraceptive advice, especially if you were unmarried. In 1967 when the family moved to Glasgow she focused her full attention on family planning and sexual health eventually becoming the full time clinical coordinator of the Glasgow Family Planning Service. During this time she refused to let societal conformities stop her in her own mission of giving women of all ages, colours and classes choice over childbearing and sexual health. Following her retirement, she became a member of the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Scotland and later she set up Friends of the End (FATE). In 2007 she was honoured by the Scottish Academy of Merit with the George Bell Award for services to Medicine. In 2009, at the age of 83, she was arrested by Surrey Police on suspicion of aiding and abetting a suicide. The charges were later dropped due to insufficient evidence. She was a great traveller and loved to visit family all over the world. A keen reader with a house full of books she enjoyed crosswords at which she excelled. She was a much loved sister, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and will be greatly missed.
Jill Ferguson (1966) – 12th March 2016
After a long illness and brave battle against cancer. After studying Geography at Durham she had a very successful career at the Ministry of Defence for 30 years. A staunch Liberal Democrat, on retirement she was elected to represent the Farnham Castle ward and was leader of Waverley Council from 2003 to 2007. With her gentle and approachable style, she gained respect for her competence and commitment. A keen artist Jill was chairman of the Farnham Art Society giving them the benefit of her vast experience in all aspects of legal, governmental and personal knowledge of Farnham. As a member of the Old Girls Association she was very supportive of Alice Phillips and her vision to introduce The Association in 2004. She remained a valuable member of the committee until her death. She was a remarkable person who had so many friends from different walks of life. She never complained about her lot and her sense of humour shone through at all times. She will be hugely missed.
Vivien Scott (former staff) - March 2016
Housemistress of Symes in the 1960’s. She was a lovely person and Mum
Leslie Glen-Campbell (former staff 1967-1988) – March 2016
Spanish Teacher and Housemistress of Symes Leslie was a brilliant play writer and wrote a play every Christmas that included every boarder. Pupils at the time will recall her doing a can-can with Chris Massey and Gillian Soper.
Jane Hampshire (nee Griffith) (1959) – 1st February 2016
Jane was a key part of School life as Merriman House Captain, Vice-Captain of Lacrosse and Tennis Captain. She worked as a Dress Designer after qualifying with a Certificate in Fashion and in later life worked as a Dental Nurse and Doctor Receptionist.
George Orwell : Writer, Rebel, Radical?This will be a fascinating insight into the life of George Orwell by his son Richard Blair.
Great-great-great granddaughter of the renowned British novelist Charles Dickens
Concert of the South Downs Orchestra with our own Symphony Orchestra
Chief Digital Officer at HMRC
Talk on the Art of Motivation from former highest ranking woman in the Army
The Auditorium was packed at the seams for 'Talking Trump'. BBC News Washington Political Correspondent Gary O'Donoghue ...